Six people were killed Monday in what local officials have called a targeted attack in the small Tulare County town of Goshen, leaving family members ranging in age from a 10-month-old baby to a 72-year-old grandmother dead.
The shocking massacre has been described as particularly brutal for the execution-style killings of the baby, his teen mother and the grandmother, but much is still unknown about the attack. No one has been arrested.
Tulare County Supervisor Eddie Valero, who represents the town, called the deaths “everyone’s worst nightmare.”
“These senseless acts of violence, especially with infants, children and young adults, have no place in our communities,” he said.
Here’s a breakdown of what The Times has confirmed from local officials, court documents and interviews.
What do we know about the attack?
The massacre occurred around 3:30 a.m. in and around the family’s residence in Goshen, near Visalia.
Deputies first found the bodies of the 16-year-old girl and her 10-month-old baby outside a home along the street, officials said.
It was clear to investigators that the young mother had tried to run away with her baby in her arms, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said. Forensic evidence later showed she had been caught before she could escape, and both she and her child were shot in the head from above, execution-style.
Deputies also found the door to the main house forced open, and one person dead in the doorway. The grandmother was found dead, also shot in the head, apparently while asleep in her bed. Another victim was found dead in the threshold of the door to a trailer near the house. Six total were killed, many of whom were related.
Boudreaux called the attack targeted — not a random act of violence — though he declined to name the intended target or a possible motive.
Was a cartel involved?
The involvement of a drug cartel is still not confirmed, but sheriff’s officials say it’s a possibility.
Hours after deputies responded to the gruesome scene Monday, Boudreaux characterized the massacre as a targeted attack by an unspecified drug cartel.
But the following day at a news conference, the sheriff clarified his comments about such involvement.
“I’m not saying this is a cartel,” he said. “But I am not eliminating that possibility.”
He said because of how the six were killed — shot in the head or “in places a shooter would know a quick death” would follow — he said it was likely a “high-level gang-style execution or cartel-style execution,” or possibly related to both gangs and cartels.
Were there any survivors?
Three people were at the family compound during the attack and were not fatally shot, Boudreaux said. He did not identify the survivors but said they are “providing a great deal of information” to investigators.
One of the survivors hid in the main house by lying on the floor of a room, with his feet against the door, while two other survivors were in a nearby trailer, which the shooters never entered.
Who are the victims?
Here are the names and ages of those killed, according to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office:
- Nycholas Parraz, 10 months
- Elyssa Parraz, 16
- Marcos Parraz, 19
- Jennifer Analla, 50
- Eladio Parraz Jr., 52
- Rosa Parraz, 72
The sheriff’s office described them all as family members, but didn’t explain how they were related.
The sheriff also noted that the property where the massacre occurred was a “known home to our department” for gang activity, but noted that not everyone at the house was involved in illegal activity, especially not all of the victims.
According to local court records, deputies had found ammunition, guns, marijuana and methamphetamine at the home Jan. 3, following a parole compliance check on a family member.
During that visit, Eladio Parraz Jr., who was later killed in the massacre, admitted to being part of a gang tied to the Mexican Mafia prison gang, according to court records. He also was arrested on suspicion of illegally possessing ammunition as a convicted felon.
What do we know about the suspects?
Authorities are searching for at least two suspects who they believe carried out the killings. Boudreaux said there could have been another person involved, perhaps as a getaway driver, but that is supposition at this point.
Deputies arrived at the compound just seven minutes after the first 911 call, but the shooters were long gone by then.
Officials on Tuesday announced a $10,000 reward for information that would help move the investigation forward and also asked for any video from nearby residences or businesses that may have captured anything suspicious early Monday.